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Benning places 13th at state cross country meet

Zack Benning is pictured near the finish of Saturday's race at St. Olaf College in Northfield. (Rivertown Multimedia photo by Patrick Johnson)1 / 2
Zack Benning is pictured with fellow competitors at the start of the state cross country meet. Benning placed 13th in the race and earned all state honors. (Rivertown Multimedia photo by Patrick Johnson)2 / 2

Hastings High School junior Zack Benning is an all-state runner.

Benning placed 13th at the state cross country meet on Saturday, finishing the 5K race in 15 minutes, 51.2 seconds.

The meet was won by Stillwater's Wayde Hall, who finished in 15:21.0.

"I thought it went very well," Benning said of the state meet. "I don't have any regrets or anything about the place or time or anything."

Benning stayed with the lead pack for the first two miles. When they picked up the pace, he couldn't stay with them.

"He was right in the hunt, right in the top throughout most of the race," coach John Dewall said. "He ran with everybody he needed to run with. We're happy as coaches, and he's happy."

Stillwater won the team meet. Fellow Suburban East Conference opponents White Bear Lake (11th) and Mounds View (15th) also placed at the state meet.

Benning won a handful of races this season, including the section championship. As he kept winning, he was surprising himself.

"It was almost shocking," he said. "I didn't expect to be where I was this season - to finish where I did at state was unbelievable. I was extremely happy with how the season went. I'm excited for next year."

This spring, Benning expects to run with the Hastings track team, where he will be used in the 1,600, the 3,200 and he said he will likely run some 800s as well.

"You look at his season, and it was stellar performances all through the year," Dewall said. "He's just a great, positive kid to coach. He'll be top four or five ranked at the beginning of next year. He has some lofty goals next year."

Benning is the son of Jackie and Tom Daley and Pat and Juli Dorsey.